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National Health Service History

Geoffrey Rivett

home inheritance1948-19571958-19671968-1977 1978-1987  1988-19971998-2007 2008-20172018 - 2027envoishort history London's hospitals


Executive summary  of Saving lives: Our Healthier Nation published in 1999

is an action plan to tackle poor health.   We want to:

Good health is fundamental to all our lives. But too many people

'the first comprehensive Government plan'

We are putting forward the first comprehensive Government plan focused on the main killers: cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke, accidents, mental illness.

We reject the previous Government's scattergun targets. Instead we are setting tougher but attainable targets in priority areas. By the year 2010:

'tougher but attainable targets'

If we achieve these targets, we have the opportunity to save lives by preventing up to 300,000 untimely and unnecessary deaths. To achieve better health for everyone and especially for the worst off we are:

'social, economic and environmental factors
tending towards poor health are potent'

In securing better health, we reject the old arguments of the past.
We believe that:

We want to see a new balance in which people, communities and Government work together in partnership to improve health. Our drive for better health is in line with a background of real improvement in health:

But new problems arise, including AIDS and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

'people can make individual decisions about their and their families' health'

People can improve their own health, through physical activity, better diet and quitting smoking. Individuals and their families need to be properly informed about risk to make decisions. We are introducing new Healthy Citizens programmes to help make decisions:

Communities can tackle poor health, which springs too from a range of wider, community factors - including poverty, low wages, unemployment, poor education, sub-standard housing, crime and disorder and a polluted environment.

'tackling sexual health, drugs, alcohol, food safety, water
fluoridation and communicable diseases'

Health inequality is widespread: the most disadvantaged have suffered most from poor health. The Government is addressing inequality with a range of initiatives on education, welfare-to-work, housing, neighbourhoods, transport and the environment which will help improve health.

As well as taking action on our key targets, we are also tackling other important health issues like sexual health, drugs, alcohol, food safety, water fluoridation and communicable diseases - to put our new approach into practice.

We will reorient the NHS to ensure that for the first time ever, health improvement will be integrated into the local delivery of health care:

Local authorities will work in partnership with the NHS to plan for health improvement:

'Local authorities will work in partnership with the NHS'

For partnership to work, public health will need high standards, and for public health to be improved, it will need success measures. On standards, we will:

'take the opportunity of better health'

On success measures, we will:

We want to see healthier people in a healthier country. People improving their own health supported by communities working through local organisations against a backdrop of action by the Government.

We want to see everyone take the opportunity of better health - now, and for the future.

home inheritance1948-19571958-19671968-1977 1978-1987 1988-1997  1998-2007 2008-2017 2018 - 2027 envoishort history London's hospitals



Geoffrey Rivett©